WASHINGTON_For the first time in history, the slate of candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination includes six women _ five of them mothers. The groundbreaking freshman class of the 116th Congress also contains a record number of women, many with young children.

At a time when more mothers are going into politics, a recent Pew study asked Americans about the best time for a female politician to have children during her career.

The results were mixed: 51% of the 4,587 U.S. adults surveyed last summer thought women should have children early in their careers, before entering politics, while 26% said women should wait until they are established in their careers, and another 19% advised not having children at all.

Male respondents were more likely to say women should have children early in their careers. The study did not find a significant partisan divide in views between respondents who were Democrats or leaned Democratic, and respondents who were Republican or leaned Republican.

The study did find a notable generational difference among women: 60% of women 65 or older said women should have children before entering politics, while only 30% of women ages 18-29 said the same.


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